Friday 24 May 2019

St Patrick’s Special School a step closure to start date

Construction of school to be 'brought forward'

Principal Lee Rogers at St Patrick’s Special School
Principal Lee Rogers at St Patrick’s Special School

Pádraig Byrne

The saga surrounding the construction of the new St Patrick's Special School in Drumgoold is about to hit another important milestone on its way to a conclusion. Local TDs Paul Kehoe and James Browne last week revealed that a letter of intent had been issued to the main contractor for the school and that construction is to get underway earlier than anticipated.

The project went to tender with a cut-off point for quotes to be submitted by May 14 and now it appears that an appointment is imminent. 'It's hoped that the contract to build will be signed in the next couple of weeks and that the contractor could be on site as early as autumn to commence work,' Deputy Browne confirmed. He added, however, that he is keen to keep the pressure on to ensure this much needed school will be in use as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Minister Kehoe says that the construction phase is to be brought forward as a result of this latest development. 'Everything is moving in the right direction on a project that is so important to the town, parents, the school authorities and especially the students,' Minister Kehoe said. 'The department has indicated to me now that the date for construction will take place earlier than we thought. It's a credit to school principal Lee Rogers and all those involved.'

The project for the construction of the new St Patrick's Special School has been in the pipeline since 2007 and things came to a head towards the end of last year when school Principal Mr Lee Rogers was informed that the project had been delayed for a third time while a flurry of other schools and extensions were opening across the county and country. Mr Rogers erected a board outside the school which marked every day that passed since the project was due to begin and there was a significant public outcry at staff and vulnerable students being forced to work in sub-standard conditions.

Having passed through the tender process and with the appointment of a contractor imminent, it appears an end may finally be in sight for everyone involved with the school.

'This is a very important next step in a development that will benefit the most vulnerable in our community,' Deputy Browne continued.

'Principal, Mr Lee Rogers, the staff, parents and board of management deserve huge praise for keeping up the fight for the new school.'

Enniscorthy Guardian